Sex & Drugs & Rock & Roll

Critics Consensus

Sex & Drugs & Rock & Roll pays appropriately uninhibited tribute to a pioneering artist -- and proves Andy Serkis can be every bit as compelling in a non-motion-capture role.



Total Count: 40


Audience Score

User Ratings: 4,704
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Movie Info

Andy Serkis stars as volatile British new wave icon Ian Dury in this biopic from BAFTA-nominated director Mat Whitecross (The Road to Guantanamo). As a young boy, Dury nearly died after being stricken with polio. Though the ravaging disease would leave him permanently disabled, however, it would also instill him with the drive and perseverance to become one of the most influential musicians of his generation. Along with his band Ian Dury & the Blockheads, the unpredictable rocker would become a key figure in the new wave movement of the late '70s. But through it all Dury's abrasive behavior never subsided, even during quiet moments with his delicate young son, Baxter (Bill Milner). Ray Winstone, Naomie Harris, and Olivia Williams co-star. ~ Jason Buchanan, Rovi


Andy Serkis
as Ian Dury
Bill Milner
as Baxter Dury
Ray Winstone
as Bill Dury
Naomie Harris
as Denise Roudette
Tom Hughes
as Chaz Jankel
Toby Jones
as Hargreaves
Joe Kennedy
as Davey Payne
Wesley Nelson
as Young Ian
Ralph Ineson
as Sulphate Strangler
Clifford Samuel
as Charlie Charles
Jimmy Jagger
as John Turnbull
Arthur Darvill
as Mick Gallagher
Shakraj Soornack
as Norman Watt-Roy
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Critic Reviews for Sex & Drugs & Rock & Roll

All Critics (40) | Top Critics (8) | Fresh (31) | Rotten (9)

  • Somehow this well-intentioned film cannot help but turn an uncompromisingly original artist into a formula.

    May 7, 2010 | Rating: 2.5/5
  • It's an energetic and vivacious film that will appeal to fans of punk rock worldwide and should find its place in the pantheon of great music-film biographies.

    Jan 8, 2010
  • Paul Viragh's script is too bitty to hold it all together, and filigrees of technique fail to disguise the weaknesses in helmer Mat Whitecross' first solo flight.

    Jan 8, 2010
  • You don't need to be a fan of Dury's music to enjoy 'Sex & Drugs...'. This is just gorgeous, celebratory cinema, unfettered and courageous, if unashamedly scattershot, much like the man himself.

    Jan 8, 2010 | Rating: 4/5 | Full Review…
  • There are no allusions to the empowering nature of punk that catalyses the tale; and strangest of all, there's not enough made of the funny, funky music that made him filmworthy in the first place. The result, too often, rings like a missed beat.

    Jan 8, 2010 | Rating: 2/5 | Full Review…

    Ben Machell

    Times (UK)
    Top Critic
  • A barnstorming, passionate performance from Andy Serkis brings 1970s music legend Ian Dury stunningly back to life in this gutsy biopic.

    Jan 8, 2010 | Rating: 4/5 | Full Review…

Audience Reviews for Sex & Drugs & Rock & Roll

  • Apr 19, 2011
    Inside this strange little movie is a rather decent one. The editing style is a little out there, but it's mostly filled with a well casted, well done, well acted story. It is a story of a man who survived polio as a child, and became a punk rockstar. Serkis is good giving realistic grit to the self-absorbed leading man. I am a sucker for pics about musicians, and I found this to be an enjoyable one.
    Cynthia S Super Reviewer
  • Aug 28, 2010
    A brilliant performance from Serkis and some interesting directorial flourishes make this an engaging watch, but a bit of a soulless experience. Dury comes off as a bit of a git, which he probably was, but that doesn't make it easy to relate to him and the film. Of course the music is great and it's got a stellar cast but trying to justify Dury's attitude was the consequence of a disturbed childhood is a bit of a cop-out and we've seen that done hundreds of times before on film.
    David S Super Reviewer
  • Aug 18, 2010
    Wonderful view into the pain and suffering Dury went through to make it as one of the most talented and original song writers of the 70's. Great film and superbly acted by Andy Serkis.
    Barry L Super Reviewer
  • May 11, 2010
    Superb performance from Serkis as Ian Dury and brilliant direction from Mat Whitecross, a good and inventive biopic of a fascinating man. Makes me hanker now for the biopic of Johnny Rotten.
    Jon H Super Reviewer

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